This street mural is in Greenville, North Carolina, and was created on December 13th, 2020, after months of planning. It says “Unite Against Racism” in large capital letters across West First Street, next to the Town Common Park. Each letter is a different color and contains different images. According to Professor Alice Arnold who was interviewed after viewing the artwork, “Inside each letter are messages. Sometimes words and sometimes images… Very beautiful and very well crafted. The messages are really clear”. Examples of phrases inside the letters are “Power to the People” and “Black Votes Matter”. The mural is two traffic lanes tall. The street was closed for 24 hours after the mural was completed to allow the public to safely view it. Cars were able to drive over the mural after that period.
This mural was sanctioned. The idea for the mural was brought to the city council in June but wasn’t approved until November 9th. Originally, the artists wanted the mural to say, “Black Lives Do Matter”, but the council approved “Unite Against Racism” instead. This mural was created by 24 different artists and volunteers. Local high school art teacher Randall Leach was one of the leaders of the project. He says “This is not the end. It’s not the end. This is what we can do now. We need to come to the table and have conversations to discuss what we can do to make this place better for all people”.
This mural was paved over starting on April 12, 2021. This construction was planned prior to the creation of the mural. A city council member said that this mural is only temporary, much like other murals across the state and country similar to this one. Although this mural may have been temporary, it had a large impact on the community.
News Coverage by WITN, WNCT, Greenville North Carolina, and The News Observer
Photographer: City of Greenville